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Painting Bloodforge's Pale World Red

With color drained from its Celtic setting, Bloodforge is a pale world just waiting for blood to spatter across the ground. And with a violent tale surrounding its protagonist's desire for revenge, elements of gameplay support spilling red on every surface.<br/><br/><img src="http://xboxlivemedia.ign.com/xboxlive/image/article/121/1219979/bloodforge-20120305011519389-000.jpg" /><br/>Paint the ground red.<br/><br/><br/><br/>The main character, Crom, kills his own wife due to the trickery of the gods. Driven mad by the ruse, he enacts his revenge upon everything in his way. Guided by a mystic crow, he learns that by absorbing blood he can jump into a rage mode where his attacks move more swiftly and do more damage. Additionally, he gathers ruins for powerful spells and gathers items to help heal himself through his struggles. He can roll out of the way of attacks, but as the only means of evasion it's tough to stay undamaged.<br/><br/>Bloodforge is all about combat. It's a hack 'n' slash game with a combat system involving strong and weak attacks and three varieties of weapons, starting with a sword and unlocking a giant hammer shortly into the first level. These aren't new elements, and anyone who's played anything between Golden Axe and Devil May Cry will feel comfortable slicing through the world of Bloodforge.<br/><br/><img src="http://xboxlivemedia.ign.com/xboxlive/image/article/121/1219979/bloodforge-20120305011528730-000.jpg" /><br/>This guy's huge. And mean. He's huge'n' mean.<br/><br/><br/><br/>Gameplay flows smoothly, even if Crom throws in some executing moves too late after a combo. Bloodforge isn't quite done yet; the developers are still balancing elements and these loose elements can still change. There's a mechanic at play where enemies in the foreground turn opaque so as not to block Crom, but at the same time their invisibility turns into a problem when you can't see where attacks are coming from.<br/><br/>The setting takes precedence over the combat, to a large extent. The snowy battlefields are desaturated like a stylish comic book, so when blood starts spilling it coats the ground. Enemies range from hulking beasts with claw hands to enormous, giants tromping through valleys while spawning more enemies upon our hero. The look is cool, and so far Bloodforge feels like a fun, button-mashing battle on XBLA.<br/><br/><hr><br/><br/><i>Peter writes for IGN's Xbox 360 team. You can follow him on <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/peykemans" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://people.ign.com/eykemans-ign" target="_blank">MyIGN</a>.</i><br/><br/><br><br/><br/>&#169;2012-03-05, IGN Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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